Customer Reviews


34 Reviews
5 star:
 (20)
4 star:
 (8)
3 star:
 (6)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shopkeep, how much for that vaginal photoplethysmograph in the window?
"Not everyone gets their (masturbation study) funding from research grants. Some masturbation professionals get their funding from the sales of Vibrating Port-A-Pussies and Mr. Fred Jelly Dongs." - Mary Roach in BONK

"To get inside a lubricated vagina, a penis needs to be hard enough to push against the opening with one to two pounds of force. That is...
Published on 12 July 2008 by Amazon Customer

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars An amusing oeuvre
Quite an amusing read (though not as funny as her Gulp). Very female-oriented, as might be expected from the author's gender.
Published 13 months ago by D. C. Day


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shopkeep, how much for that vaginal photoplethysmograph in the window?, 12 July 2008
By 
Amazon Customer (Glendale, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
"Not everyone gets their (masturbation study) funding from research grants. Some masturbation professionals get their funding from the sales of Vibrating Port-A-Pussies and Mr. Fred Jelly Dongs." - Mary Roach in BONK

"To get inside a lubricated vagina, a penis needs to be hard enough to push against the opening with one to two pounds of force. That is approximately the amount of force required to open a swinging kitchen door." - Mary Roach in BONK

Mary Roach is the author of Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, the enormously instructive and entertaining book on the uses to which human cadavers are put. As far as I'm concerned, instructive AND entertaining is about as good as it gets. With BONK, Roach has outdone herself with a read that I couldn't put down.

Science pursues sex because, after all, it's what makes the world turn. Roach first establishes the history of the science, which pretty much reached mainstream acceptance with researchers Alfred Kinsey and then William Masters and Virginia Johnson. (An excellent film about the former, starring Liam Neeson, is Kinsey [2004].)

The meat of the book, so to speak, is the wide array of sexual behavior and physiologic functions which scientists have investigated, and which include: the sure sign of female orgasm, the location of the fabled G Spot, female orgasm as a function of clitoral-urethral separation distance, the link between female sexual pleasure and fertility, the validity of the vaginal "upsuck" concept, the validity of the penis-cervix interlock theory, cures for erectile dysfunction, the historical legal implications of male "potency", societal perspectives on masturbation, testicular transplants, penile implants, penis restoration post amputation, the physiology and structure of the clitoris, the internal mechanics of penile erection, orgasm's effect on overall physical health, the value of orgasm as exercise, the role of electroejaculation in people with spinal cord injuries, vaginal lubrication as an indicator of female sexual arousal, the nature of arousal in men vs. women, the physiologic trigger of male ejaculation, the role of hormones on the female libido, the existence of human sex-pheromones, and the qualitative measurement of sex. Juicy stuff, this.

The author's special talent, whether it be in STIFF or BONK, is her serious - but not too serious - approach to the subject matter. At any time, the reader may expect Mary to look up from her notes, cock an eyebrow, and deliver some wryly humorous aside. This is perhaps best seen in the footnotes to the text, as in the one connected to the above quote concerning the amount of penile force required for vaginal entry:

"We have three Houston researchers to thank for this statistic. In 1985, the trio attached a pressure gauge to the tip of a penis-shaped Plexiglas rod and penetrated a small group of female volunteers. It seems to me that if they wanted to approximate the surface friction that exists in real intercourse, slippery-smooth Plexiglas was a poor stand-in for penis skin. Though I suppose that when you're doing an experiment that involves penetrating coeds in your lab, surface friction is less of a concern than, say, human subjects review board friction."

As windows on otherwise esoteric or eccentric subject matter, Mary's books are without peer as reading experiences.

Finally, in case you're wondering, BONK describes a photoplethysmograph as a device used to measure the amount of lubricant vaginal walls exude during sexual stimulation. As a matter of fact, I have one right here for inclusion in Mum's Christmas basket.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Who knew sex could be so fascinating - and so funny?, 20 Jan 2010
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Bonk: The Curious Coupling Of Sex And Science (Paperback)
I keep hearing about this little number from, ahem, 'satisfied customers' amongst the online bookish community on LibraryThing, so I thought I'd check it out for myself. Even though I had to stop reading 'Stiff' because it was making me so queasy, I had an idea I'd be safer with sex than dead bodies - fortunately, I was right! It's really a fascinating book. And Mary Roach is one helluva lady - no situation is too delicate, no question goes unasked, no naked body lies uncovered... She is also a fantastically funny writer, with a wry and self-deprecating sense of humour that acts as the perfect antidote to the cringeworthy, the ridiculous, and the downright embarrassing elements of the research she pulls together here.

Everything from female libido to erectile dysfunction to primate sex is covered, with research drawn from the most ancient of philosophers right through to the most cutting-edge modern studies. Roach even participates in some of the studies herself, in the name of science and finding out what the hell goes on behind the closed doors of sexual research institutions. All in all, a really excellent book, which managed to be incredibly interesting AND made me giggle every other page. Read it!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fun education, 10 Oct 2008
By 
blackrose_19 "byes" (Basingstoke, England) - See all my reviews
The book was a brilliant read. Mary Roach can capture the significance of her research with a wonderful sense of humour. Her photo breaks in the book, had me giggling only to be followed by bellowed laughter in the context of the writing. I was the best way to learn. If this is your first book by Mary Roach, you will enjoy her previous books.

This book may also help explain certain aspects of your 'private' life. I certainly learnt more.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the funniest books I've ever read, 9 Jun 2009
By 
This review is from: Bonk: The Curious Coupling Of Sex And Science (Paperback)
Mary Roach brings two qualities to her history of sex research. Firstly, her sense of humour: she doesn't miss a chance for a witty aside, and this topic gives lots of opportunities for them. Her description of a visit to a sex toy factory had me absolutely howling, and there are moments like that throughout the book. Second is her dogged determination to track down the documents, people and um... apparatus that tell the history of sexology from all angles. Her appetite for understanding even led to volunteering herself and her husband as subjects in a sex study. In the hands of a lesser writer, this would have turned out as a puerile "naughty interesting facts" kind of book. Instead, it's a laugh-out-loud page-turner telling an often heroic and sometimes appalling story of how scientists have fought against (or often promoted) social or religious taboos, helping us understand our own and our partner's bodies and responses.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Curious coupling?, 10 May 2013
By 
Mr. J. R. Brook (Nuneaton, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Bonk: The Curious Coupling Of Sex And Science (Paperback)
A fascinating and amusing read touching on subjects you could hardly imagine. The author must have had a lot of fun along the way and I love the humour!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What sex research can tell you about better sex, 20 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It was the title of this book that caught my attention and it didn't let me down. This is one of the funniest books about sex research you'll ever come across but no less informative for that.

Well researched itself, the author delves without embarrassment into the strange, sometimes devious and single minded focus of the famous, the infamous and some of the lesser known researchers into the physical and mental problems of sex and its enjoyment.

Along the way you'll discover a lot of 'facts' you either didn't know or have heard secondhand. You'll learn the truth about some of the real problems sex researchers have faced in their search for the 'truth' about orgasm and why we will do, almost, anything to get to it. You'll discover things about sex enhancement 'tools' that will surprise you as much as they shocked the author. In all your eyes will be opened to details of human sexuality that you would never have imagined.

You'll also find summations of areas of conflicting research which will confound some myths. For example does the fabled G spot really exist, and what have sex researchers done to find it? By putting the salient points of the variety of sex research into one book the author gives you a clearer understanding of what really makes us 'tick' sexually.

This is more than just a book about sex research. You'll learn a lot about the human sex drive (and animal too) and how, why and what turns people on. You'll come out of it better educated about sex and all its ramifications. You might even learn something about yourself and your partner. It may even encourage you to explore areas of sexual behaviour that you might not have considered.

If you're considering the Kindle edition, which I read, you might like to note that the chapter illustrations appear before the footnotes of the previous chapter. Also the footnotes are poorly formatted and run into one another. Capitalisation is also poor throughout the book, as is the text formatting. This didn't stop it being a good read, however!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Too good to lend, 29 Mar 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Bonk: The Curious Coupling Of Sex And Science (Paperback)
I'm just repurchasing this book after my first copy was lent to a friend who loved it so much she kept it. I would describe myself as having a bit of a smutty sense of humour, so this book was right up my street, but I loved the enthusiasm she brought to the topic. And also the way she made it very very very funny whilst celebrating the... unique... characters and topic material she dealt with- there is no cruelty in her writing, merely admiration and amusement at the dedication of the scientists involved.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars straight to the core, 1 Feb 2011
By 
Michael Gross - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Bonk: The Curious Coupling Of Sex And Science (Paperback)
In my little collection of books about the science of love and sex, "Bonk" is by far the most entertaining one. Not worrying too much about love and all the emotional baggage that we humans connect with it, Roach goes, chimp-like, straight to the core of the matter.

Which of course is a very tricky thing to do for somebody writing in English, the language of puritanism and all kinds of post Victorian hang-ups around human sexuality. Notwithstanding, Roach attacks the matter fearlessly and head-on, using her fine sense of humour to overcome any embarrassment she or some of her readers may be feeling.

The book is mainly about how scientists manage to survive in a field that suffers enormously from the above-mentioned hang-ups and prudishness and is therefore still the most under-developed part of human biology (remember that a large part of the clitoris was only discovered a few years ago!). One doesn't get much of an overview of what is known about love and sex, but one does get a good sense of the challenges -- resulting from nature, methodology, and from the weird attitude our society has towards the most natural of all inter-human activities -- and how the very small number of researchers in the field are facing them. As a bonus, one gets to LOL a lot.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting insight into the science behind sex, 12 Jan 2011
This review is from: Bonk: The Curious Coupling Of Sex And Science (Paperback)
I have read Mary Roach's other book "Stiff" which I found superb, I will say I was a little disappointed with this book. Mary Roach is a fantastic author/researcher/journalist and her humour is great yet she deals with the topics of her books very well, and in this case the delicate subject of sex. Its very well written, although not a flowing as "Stiff", it seemed to jump from topic to topic. And quite a lot of the research seemed a bit dated - set in the 50s and 60s, and less of the modern post-1990s work (this could be due to the lack of reserch in the field I am not sure).

I will say this was a fascinating read, very well researched, I would recommend to anyone who is not squemish, and she does not shy away in some of the graphic detail.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 12 Nov 2010
This review is from: Bonk: The Curious Coupling Of Sex And Science (Paperback)
Other reviewers already gave details, so out of lazyness I'll just say: thanks, Mary Roach, this was a wonderful read. :-)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Bonk: The Curious Coupling Of Sex And Science
Bonk: The Curious Coupling Of Sex And Science by Mary Roach (Paperback - 7 May 2009)
£7.99
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews